Proposed consultation on the future of Rotherham children’s home

Published Tuesday, 1st December 2015
Commissioner Malcolm Newsam
Commissioner Malcolm Newsam

A consultation about the future of a Rotherham children’s home could begin next month, as part of the council’s ongoing review of children’s residential care services.

The proposal to begin the planned closure of St Edmund’s Children’s Home has been drawn up as part of Rotherham Council’s plan to see more young people cared for in a family setting, such as foster homes.

The proposed consultation with young people and staff at St Edmund’s will be considered at a Commissioner decision-making meeting next week. If approved, the consultation will start in December, for six weeks – seeking views on the plan to close the home by 31 January 2016.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader of the Council and Advisory Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s and Young People’s Services, said:  "The children and young people we look after deserve the very best care – we believe that this is best provided in a family setting, such as by foster families, and are now reviewing all of our services in line with this long-term plan.

"Extensive improvements have been made at St Edmund’s following its latest Ofsted inspection, and the immediate safeguarding needs of the young people currently living there are being met.

"However, overall the size and style of the home means it is not able to provide the kind of family-setting care that we are aspiring to, and is not delivering the quality of care we expect.  As such, we are proposing to close the home in the New Year, once we have worked with and supported the young people into new homes."

The proposal will be considered by Rotherham Council’s Children’s Social Care Commissioner, Malcolm Newsam, at his decision-making meeting on 7 December.

The overall review of children’s residential care services is likely to conclude early in the New Year and forms part of the wider programme of improvements already in place to tackle historic failings identified in Rotherham’s children’s and social care services.